Brody’s Ghost, Vol. 1
by Mark Crilley
Dark Horse, 96 pp.
Rating: 12 +
Brody is a down and out slacker who splits his time between pining for an ex, being a stock boy at a market, and playing guitar for spare change. Directionless and adrift his life is given direction and purpose thanks to a chance meeting with a young girl named Talia.. who’s been dead for five years. From the mind of the thirteen time Eisner Nominee Mark Crilley comes the overlooked gem, Brody’s Ghost.
The story, at least so far, feels like the beginning of any hero’s journey. Brody’s lacking direction and encounters a being who sets him upon a quest. In this case it’s helping Talia earn her way into the afterlife by tracking a serial killer. The first volume is simply the introduction to this plot and idea and there’s no real resolution. That said it doesn’t really matter because Crilley pulls it all off with charm and style. Brody’s a likably flawed character, partially stewing in a depression due to a recent break up, but there are signs of greatness and empathy that are shown, particularly with his dealings with Talia. Talia, for her part is a bit self centered but is providing the necessary boot in Brody’s ass that he needs. At this moment it does feel like he’s being dragged into this situation by her, but I get the feeling that he’ll be coming into his own as the series progresses.
Crilley’s artwork is pretty solid stuff. He does a fantastic job at creating this quasi sci-fi urban landscape full of advertisements, litter and more. It all has a wonderfully lived in run down look and feel to it. His characters run the gamut from skinny street urchins to muscular gang members and each has a distinct look, face and more. Very few characters in this first volume look alike, showing his versatility in depicting the human body and it’s various features. The few action scenes we get are well done and the backgrounds help flesh out the weird, run down megalopolis that the story is set in.
All in all Brody’s Ghost was another wonderful find! Between this and Gear School Dark Horse is putting out two overlooked graphic novel series that seem like they’re intended to appeal to an all age audience. The back of the book says that this is the first of six volumes, the second one apparently came out this year but I’ve yet to find it. Hopefully it performs well enough for Crilley to finish the series, because it is a rather fun read and something the US comic scene needs more of.
Brody’s Ghost, Vol. 1 is available now from Dark Horse Comics.